Cuervo y Sobrinos, the only Swiss watch brand with Cuban roots, celebrates Ernest Hemingway, the famous American writer who also developed a strong attachment to the Caribbean island during the last twenty years of his life. Developed in close collaboration with Hemingway Limited – the organisation overseeing Hemingway’s estate – Cuervo y Sobrinos is the first Swiss brand to have an officially licensed Hemingway watch. Three new models from the Historiador collection – two with pointer date and one GMT – join the existing 3-hand model in the Hemingway sub-collection, each with a convincing vintage flair and allusions to the legendary writer’s life. These limited-edition watches will be launched during the annual Hemingway Days event held in Key West, Florida, from 18-23 July.
The Cuban Connection
Founded in 1882 by Spanish immigrant Don Ramón Cuervo, the Cuervo y Sobrinos jewellery and watch shop prospered in the 1950s as the rich and famous flocked to the island in search of fun in the sun. Caruso, Gary Cooper, Einstein, Neruda and Hemingway were some of Cuervo y Sobrinos’ illustrious clients.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), the American journalist and writer who moved to Cuba in the late 1930s, spent the last twenty years of his life writing, deep-sea fishing and enjoying life on the island. Writing from the seclusion of his Cuban home at Finca Vigía between 1939 and 1960, Hemingway produced seven books, including his novella The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway’s novella about a Cuban fisherman won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. In gratitude to Cuba, Hemingway dedicated his Nobel Prize to the nation. Known as Papa by the locals, Hemingway was an assiduous client of the Floridita and its famous daiquiris and the Cuervo y Sobrinos shop in Havana, where prestigious imported Swiss timepieces could be bought. According to Hemingway’s daughter-in-law, Angela Hemingway, current president of Hemingway Limited, the writer acquired his Rolex Oyster from Cuervo y Sobrinos.
The three Hemingway models belong to the Historiador family and can be immediately recognised by their flamboyant yet ergonomic lugs and vintage vibe. Crafted in stainless steel and polished, the 100m water-resistant cases measure 40mm across, have a height of 11.75mm and feature a plaque on the case flank indicating them as limited editions. The dials are protected by a double-curved sapphire crystal to consolidate the retro mood.
The two Historiador Hemingway Icónico
Offered with cream or tobacco-coloured dials, the Icónico models are limited to 882 pieces in each colour and feature a pointer date function. The date, printed on the periphery of the dial, is blue on the cream dial and indicated by a blue-tipped hand and white on the tobacco dial and indicated by a red hand. As the brand points out, the tip of the pointer date is meant to evoke the shape of a marlin’s tail. The Arabic numerals and hands are filled with Super-LumiNova, and the brand’s coat of arms is applied at noon.
An allusion to Hemingway’s writing can be seen on the flange with a quote from the author “In order to write about life, first you must live it,” inscribed in English and Spanish. A second reference to the writer can be found on the sealed caseback bearing the Hemingway logo of the letter ‘H’ traversed by a marlin. The two Icónico models are powered by an automatic Sellita SW221-1 with a frequency of 28,800vph and a limited power reserve of 38 hours.
Quick facts: 40mm x 11.75mm – stainless steel, polished – screw-down crown, sealed caseback with Hemingway logo – 100m water-resistance – cream or tobacco dial – indices, hour, minute and seconds hands treated with Super-LumiNova, contrasting colour for pointer date hand – automatic calibre CyS 8121 (Sellita SW221-1 base), 28,800vph, 38h power reserve – leather strap with openworked steel clasp – ref. 3190.1ICC with cream dial limited to 882 pieces – ref. 3190.1ICB tobacco dial limited to 882 pieces – CHF 2,600
The Historiador Hemingway Fisherman
With its ocean blue dial, the Historiador Hemingway Fisherman pays homage to Hemingway’s novella, The Old Man and the Sea, written in Cayo Blanco. A limited edition of 288 models, the Fisherman is a GMT watch with a 24-hour scale on the bezel. Slightly less retro in spirit than the Icónicos, the Fisherman comes on a metal bracelet and reveals its movement through a sapphire crystal on the caseback.
Again, references to Hemingway’s literary career appear on the flange with the inscription “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky“, also in Spanish and English, and the Hemingway ‘H’ logo with a marlin.
The blue dial features a vertical brushed finish and matches the colour of the engraved numerals of the 24-hour GMT scale on the bezel. The hand used to indicate the GMT scale is a slightly lighter tone of blue and has a luminous arrow-shaped tip. Like the Icónico models, the brand’s coat of arms is applied at noon, and the Arabic numerals and hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. In addition to the time and date functions, there is a round date window at 6 o’clock.
Powered by calibre CYS 8122, using a Soprod C125 base, the automatic movement features a bespoke rotor and delivers a power reserve of 42 hours.
Quick Facts: 40mm x 11.75mm – stainless steel, polished – screw-down crown – 100m water-resistance – 24h GMT scale on bezel – numerals and hands treated with Super-LumiNova – date window at 6 o’clock – automatic calibre CyS 8122 (Soprod C125 base), 28,800vph, 42h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet with clasp and additional blue Cordura textile strap – ref. 3192B.1B limited to 288 pieces – CHF 3,200
Cuervo y Sobrinos has designed a special leather watch box that looks like a book to house these limited editions, the idea being that it can be placed on a bookshelf for storage.
For more information, please visit cuervoysobrinos.com.